40 Fantastic Spring Activities 4 Families in Des Moines

40 Fantastic Spring Activities 4 Families in Des Moines

Find spring 2020 activities here.

Spring is on its way! (Or we hope it is;) It’s almost time to trade in boots, mittens, and winter coats for fresh air, parks and playgrounds, spring getaways and fun spring festivals. Get outside to take advantage of all the seasonal fun that Central Iowa has to offer, including St. Patrick’s Day events, spring break activities and Easter egg hunts and activities.

Read on for 40 fantastic spring activities to enjoy with your family. Looking for more? Check out our Calendar and Spring Fun Guide, with new events added throughout the season.

2019 spring activities & events in Des Moines:

  1. Cheer on the Iowa Barnstormers as they kick off their season on March 9th.
  2. Use this guide, “The Makoke Trail: A Guide to Birding in Central Iowa”, produced by the Iowa Audubon Society to go birding and learn more about the region’s native birds.
  3. Play pretend at the Des Moines Children’s Museum. This indoor play village for kids, is going through their own growth spurt and will open in a new location in Valley West Mall on March 9th.
  4. Take a Yoga Class. Family Tree Yoga has family class options. Find a class that works for everyone and take a moment to move your body and zen out!
  5. Need new kid clothes? Go shopping at the Des Moines Mothers of Multiples Consignment Sale.  With gently used clothes from preemie to 14/16, as well as, maternity clothes from families blessed with twins, triplets, and more! Shoppers will find shoes, baby gear, toys, and anything else needed. (March 29th)
  6. Too rainy to go outside? No problem. Take the family bowling instead. Head to one of these Des Moines area Bowling Alleys to knock out a few pins.
  7. Root, root, root for the I-Cubs. Take the family to their annual Open House or their home opener on April 9th.
  8. Make your way to one of the many Central Iowa libraries and book stores that offer storytime! Most offer experiences focused on different themes and topics each week.
  9. The Harlem Globetrotters known for their one-of-a-kind family entertainment will bring their 2019 World Tour to Wells Fargo Arena on Sunday, April 14th.
  10. Take photos and pose with the spectacular art in the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park.
  11. If you have an hour to spare load up all the kids and head to Jester Park Nature Center for a “Hike for Health” on April 15th.
  12. Bloom baby bloom! Check out some incredible displays of flowers in city parks.  The Lilac Arboretum at Ewing Park and the Clare and Miles Mills Rose Garden in Greenwood Park are always lovely springtime destinations.
  13. Sunday, Sunday, Sunday….well actually Friday and Saturday catch all the metal twisting action known as Monster Jam at Wells Fargo Arena, April 19th-20th.
  14. Catch a movie! There are lots of family friendly movie theaters in Des Moines to choose from that will also have pizza, popcorn, juice (and adult beverages;) on the menu!
  15. The Mayor’s Annual Ride & Run is around the corner! Spend the day riding alongside hundreds of Des Moines families on April 20th with breakfast provided at 8:30 am. Join for the entire 22-mile bike route or opt to run the 5K or 1-mile Family run. It’s great outdoor fun for the whole family and all proceeds support Des Moines trails.
  16. Get ready for summer. Sign your kids up for swimming lessons and then have the best time ever watching and taking pictures on the sidelines!
  17. Take your mark and get set for the 2019 Drake Relays as they race into Des Moines this spring April 24th-27th.
  18. Start planning your garden.  Wander around your local nursery and let everyone pick a small plant or pack of seeds. Then go home and spend time nurturing your kids’ green thumb.
  19. Volunteer to help plant trees for Arbor Day in Grimes. Fill up the water bottles, roll up your sleeves, and get your hands dirty as a family.  (April 27th)
  20. Make a play date and host a craft day at Artfull. They’ll help you get inspired, provide the craft supplies and you won’t have to clean up your house before or after the play date! 40 Fantastic Spring Activities 4 Families in Des Moines – dsm4kids.com
  21. Spring marks the start of Farmers’ Market season! You could easily spend an entire Saturday morning wandering the Downtown Farmers’ Market. Nibble on fruits and veggies, buy flowers for the kitchen table, and enjoy the local live music. (May 4th)
  22. The Blank Park Zoo is always a favorite destination and spring is a great time to visit. Purchase your Family Membership for the year, which includes rides and visit often, plus zoo memberships are reciprocal with other zoos if your family travels.
  23. Mark your calendar now for Johnston’s annual Kites on the Green! It’s happening on May 4th and features giant show kite displays, celebrity bol races, free kite building, live kids’ music, face painting, and delicious food.
  24. Play at Union Park, which is one of the most beloved parks in the city, with a giant rocket slide, vintage carousel and spray pad. This is one park worth the drive for a special play date!
  25. The Coffee & Donut Festival is a family-friendly event featuring, duh, coffee and donuts, commercial exhibits, fun games and children’s activities. (May 4th)
  26. Reiman Gardens in Ames is a delightful place to spend a spring day. With flowers in bloom and the tropical Butterfly Wing, there is much to see and explore.
  27. Adopt a duck, join the flock and have some spec-quack-ular fun this spring at the Youth & Emergency Shelter Services’ (YESS) annual Duck Derby at Jordan Creek Town Center.  (May 4th)
  28. Visit the Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, which offers a beautiful place to enjoy flowers and fountains and is a great spot to take in all that spring has to offer.
  29. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in Valley Junction with live entertainment, great food, art, dancing and children’s activities.
  30. Let the kids climb the walls at a local indoor playground or play place in Des Moines.  These are a great outing for a rainy spring day.
  31. Check out antique and modern farm machinery at Living History Farms’ Tractor Day on  May 11th.
  32. Paint pottery. Attend a class or walk in to a local pottery studio any time and get creative together.
  33. Take the kids to see a live stage performance being presented at one of Des Moines’ local theatrical stages.
  34. Market Day Iowa  at the Atrium in Capital Square is a pop-up market with artists, hand-crafted artisans, boutiques and local businesses offering repurposed, vintage and unique products. (May 11th)
  35. Get some fresh air and exercise together by playing the latest sport craze, pickleball at a local court in Des Moines.
  36. Harness your inner Marie Kondo and do a little spring cleaning with your kids.  You can donate or recycle anything that doesn’t spark joy at a local Des Moines charity.
  37. Whether you are looking to explore something new or simply excite your mind in a new way, hobbies are a fun way for families to spend time together.  Visit a local hobby shop to help get you started.
  38. What better place to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 10 lunar orbit and return, than at a Star Party hosted by the Science Center of Iowa? Gaze through telescopes in Ewing park on May 18th.
  39. Avoid the last minute scramble, get a head start on your summer child care planning and enroll your child in summer camp now.
  40. Make a plan to be more active as a family this spring.



What’s your favorite spring activity in Des Moines? Tell us in the comments below!

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